Penny Goldstone for marie claire:
Major labels such as Chanel, Gucci, Burberry and Tom Ford have pledged to stop using fur and exotic skins in their collections, while others are making a conscious decision to only using leather as a by-product to the food industry.
However, more and more people are now going one step further and turning to products that don’t use leather altogether, and if you’re in the market for a vegan handbag, there are plenty of chic designer and affordable options out there.
I have a problem with this. It's great that we want to stop using leather but what we end up with are more 'plastic' bags. Many of the faux leather bags are made of materials from the petrochemical industry.
Contrary to the name, we’re obviously not talking animal skin here, but different materials made to look like it. According to PETA, ‘most vegan leather is made of polyurethane, a polymer that can be made to order. It can sparkle, have a nice glossy sheen, or be saturated in all kinds of shades.’
We need to look at other non man-made materials. There are alternative fabrics made from banana and pineapple leaves that can be used instead. I'm using a material called Kraft-Tex for some of the products I make. It's made from wood pulp and latex. I've made wallets, handbags, eco sacs…